Tree squirrels get their common name from the fact that they are found in wooded and urban areas with trees. They nest, avoid predators and harvest food in trees. “Tree squirrels” is an all encompassing term for several species, including fox squirrels, gray squirrels, flying squirrels and pine squirrels. Keep reading to learn more tree squirrel facts.
All three species of tree squirrels can become household pests because they frequently enter attics in the winter; however, they rarely pose a health threat to homeowners. Inside homes, tree squirrels might cause considerable damage to heating and air conditioning systems if they gain entry into electrical equipment rooms. Tree squirrels may create holes in siding and cause damage to attic insulation.
Outdoors, these squirrels can cause considerable damage to electrical and telephone cables. Tree squirrels may also chew holes in siding. Sometimes, tree squirrels destroy bird feeders in pursuit of birdseed.
Squirrels may bite when disturbed and should be left alone. Take precautions to avoid being bitten and if bitten by a squirrel, seek medical attention.
The eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), also known as the grey squirrel depending on region, is a tree squirrel. It is native to eastern North America, where it is the most prodigious and ecologically essential natural forest regenerator. Widely introduced to certain places around the world, the eastern gray squirrel in Europe, in particular, is regarded as an invasive species. The eastern gray squirrel has predominantly gray fur, but it can have a brownish color. The melanistic form, which is almost entirely black, is predominant in certain populations and in certain geographic areas.
The head and body length is from 23 to 30 cm (9.1 to 11.8 in), the tail from 19 to 25 cm (7.5 to 9.8 in), and the adult weight varies between 400 and 600 g (14 and 21 oz). They eat a range of foods, such as tree bark, tree buds, flowers, berries, many types of seeds and acorns, and other nuts,
American red squirrel is variously known as the pine squirrel, North American red squirrel and chickaree. The squirrel is a small, 200–250 g (7.1–8.8 oz), diurnal mammal that defends a year-round exclusive territory. It feeds primarily on the seeds of conifer cones, and is widely distributed across North America wherever conifers are common.
Red squirrels can be easily distinguished from other North American tree squirrels by their smaller size, 28–35 cm (11–14 in) total length (including tail), territorial behavior, and reddish fur with a white venter (underbelly). Red squirrels are somewhat larger than chipmunks. American red squirrels are primarily granivores (seed predation), but incorporate other food items into their diets opportunistically.
The Flying Squirrel
Maine is home to both the Northern and Southern flying squirrels. They are not capable of flight like birds or bats; instead, they glide between trees, with flights recorded to 300 ft. They are light brown with pale underparts and grow to a length of 25 to 37 cm (10 to 15 in). Their weight can range from 3.5 to 8 ounces.
The diets of the Northern and Southern flying squirrels are slightly different but have a lot in common. Both species are omnivores (plant and animal matter) but the Northern flyer primarily eats fungi while the Southern flyer primarily eats nuts. Flying squirrels can live a long time. Northern flyers can live for 10 years, while the longest recorded lifespan for a Southern flyer was 19 years.
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